Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Performance in Interactive Products. Interesting article focused on improving the user experience of digital products, with skeleton screens, as opposed to the traditional usage of loaders. This is particularly relevant, since these skeleton screens map closely with the content that is contained within the UI of the application. Highlight of the article includes:
“Another point to consider is the question how a skeleton screen is defined. While Google and Facebook, for instance, already show what you’re waiting for in the basic frame, other apps show generic placeholders for images and text. So, as always, it is possible to create good and bad pages, or skeletons, in this case. In this context, a good page would display the basic shapes of the loading UI as closely as possible, and also provide fitting containers for the following content. Using colors and animations can, but doesn’t always, make sense. Either way: Meeting the expectations of the audience is still more important than using modern loading time techniques because they’re trendy. As neat as the tool may be, people don’t want to buy drills, but holes in the wall.”
UX Mapping. Another relevant and useful article from the Nielsen Norman Group, this time around focused on the creation of empathy and user journey maps, and their usefulness in the product design flow. By understanding users journeys as they use a product, it allows for insightful and pertinent solutions that marry expectations, drive retention and ultimately, customer satisfaction. Highlight:
“All UX mappings have two-fold benefits. First, the process of creating a map forces conversation and an aligned mental model. Second, the shared artifact resulting from the mapping can be used amongst your team, organization, or partners to communicate an understanding of your user or service. This artifact can also become the basis for decision making as the team moves forward. Using one mapping method over another will not make or break a project. Ideally, a combination of all four will be used as needed at different points in your process, to create an in-depth understanding of your users and organization.”
Improving the UX of Search. Very interesting article focused on improvements that can be done surrounding the search feature that is a part of so many e-commerce digital products/applications. Highlight:
“Research by the Nielsen Norman Group has found that typical users are very poor at query formulation: if they don’t get good results on the first try, later search attempts rarely succeed. In fact, users often give up right after the first negative attempt. However, it’s possible to improve this situation by using an auto-suggestion mechanism. Auto-suggestion mechanisms helps users to find a proper query by trying to predict it based on the entered characters. When this mechanism works well it helps users articulate better search queries.”